Coronavirus: Travel Bans Ineffective, Says WHO

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International travel bans, according to the World Health Organization, have proven ineffectual. In the meantime, the English will take off their masks.

International travel bans, according to the World Health Organization, “do not add value and continue to contribute to countries’ economic and social burden.” The UN health agency said in a statement released following a WHO meeting that travel restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus revealed “the ineffectiveness of such efforts over time.”

Concerns about Omicron prompted numerous countries to ban flights to and from southern African countries in late November. This ban has been lifted by the majority of administrations. The WHO also advised nations not to make proof of covid-19 vaccination the only requirement for entry, citing disparity in vaccine delivery.

According to the WHO, countries should consider altering some measures that inflict a financial burden on passengers, including as testing and quarantine requirements, “where appropriate.”

Separately, the WHO reported that coronavirus cases worldwide increased by 20% last week to over 18 million. According to the WHO, infections increased in every world area except Africa, where cases decreased by about a third.

Globally, the number of deaths remained unchanged from the previous week, at around 45,000. Here’s a rundown of the most recent covid-19 news from across the world:


Patrick Soon-Shiong, a South African-born biotech tycoon, has established a plant in Cape Town, South Africa, that will be the continent’s first to manufacture covid-19 vaccines from start to finish. By 2025, the NantSA factory hopes to manufacture a billion doses per year.

The plant would be South Africa’s third vaccine manufacturing facility, but instead of making vaccines from semifinished batches, it would create them from scratch.

Soon-Shiong, who is also a doctor, would transmit technology and materials from his California-based NantWorks to South African scientists “within the year” to manufacture second-generation vaccinations. They’ll also work on cancer, tuberculosis, and HIV vaccinations.

At the plant’s launch, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa remarked, “Africa should no longer be last in line to get vaccines against pandemics.” Africa has secured 500 million vaccine doses through the African Union’s vaccine procurement task team, according to Ramaphosa, but the continent still requires more.

“These doses are only about half of what the continent needs to vaccinate 900 million people in order to meet the World Health Organization’s 70% target,” Ramaphosa added.


From next week, citizens in England will no longer be compelled to wear face masks, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On Wednesday, he told Parliament that the safeguards put in place to battle the Omicron form were no longer necessary since scientists believe infections in the UK have peaked. “As a result of the remarkable booster campaign, as well as the public’s response to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and let the Plan B restrictions to expire as of Thursday next week,” Johnson said.

In March, he planned to remove self-isolation regulations for people with coronavirus. The prime minister also declared that the mandate for immunization certificates would be repealed, but that enterprises could still get Covid-19 passes if they so desired.

To oppose the Dutch government’s epidemic policies, museums and concert halls in the Netherlands become beauty salons and gyms. The cultural sector is contesting rules requiring them to remain closed while covid-19 restrictions on stores and “contact professions” such as barbers, nail salons, and sex work were loosened. Nail artists were giving manicures at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam during the demonstration. Barbers also cut hair on the stage of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam’s iconic concert theatre.

A number of the 70-plus establishments that took part in the day-long demonstration received enforcement notifications from authorities. For the first time, Germany registered more over 100,000 daily covid-19 instances. The new single-day high of 112,323 comes as Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expressed concern that there may be twice as many unreported cases as known cases. Lauterbach told RTL that Germany has not yet hit its pinnacle, and that mandatory vaccination should be implemented by May.

According to police, over 1,200 people marched through the home of Gera Mayor Julian Vornab in the east-central German state of Thuringia, denouncing covid regulations.

“The police were present, but not in proportion to the amount of demonstrators,” Vonarb stated when asked if he felt threatened. Thuringia’s state leader, Bodo Ramelow, stated that marching up to lawmakers’ residences was nothing more than intimidation.

In recent weeks, protests against Germany’s pandemic measures have grown. Anti-covid measures protests drew 70,000 people across Germany earlier last week. Infections were at an all-time high in Austria. “We’ve got about 30,000 infections.” Chancellor Karl Nehammer described the statistic as “frighteningly high.”

The previous high of 17,006 new daily cases was set a week ago.

Sweden set a new daily high for covid-19 instances on Tuesday, with 37,886 cases reported, according to health agency data released on Wednesday. The country is in the midst of the pandemic’s fourth wave.

All testing will be halted save for hospital and aged care patients and personnel, according to Kronoberg, one of Sweden’s 25 health-care districts. Laboratories in Slovenia and Croatia are unable to perform tests quickly enough. In both countries, new covid-19 cases reached record highs of 12,285 and 10,427, respectively.

Cyprus’ Tourism Ministry said that beginning March 1, all entrance requirements for travelers who provide proof of receiving a booster shot will be waived. Travelers to the tourism-dependent island nation must either present documentation of a negative covid test or self-quarantine upon arrival.

Travelers who haven’t had a booster shot in the last nine months are allowed to enter the nation under the new guidelines.


From next week, the United States plans to deliver 400 million N95 to adults for free. A White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the masks will be accessible at pharmacies and community health centers.

The government of President Joe Biden expects that it will aid in the containment of the fast spreading Omicron variety. In the United States, Starbucks has announced that it will no longer require its employees to be vaccinated against covid-19.

Following the US Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s intention to impose immunizations or regular covid testing at enterprises with more than 100 employees, Starbucks decided to reverse its position.

In the last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported that coronavirus infections in the Americas have reached historic highs, with 7.2 million new cases and more than 15,000 deaths linked to the virus.

At a press conference, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said, “The virus is spreading more actively than ever before.”

According to the Pandemic Health Organization, the Caribbean has seen the most rapid spike in illnesses since the outbreak began. In the face of a testing deficit, the regional organization suggested that governments prioritize quick antigen tests for those who are having symptoms and are at risk of spreading the virus.


On Wednesday, India recorded 282,970 new infections, the most in eight months. According to authorities, Omicron is generating fewer hospitalizations and deaths than the delta version, which killed hundreds of thousands in India last year.

While infection rates have recently decreased in India’s major cities, doctors predict that cases across the country will reach a peak by the middle of next month. “We have to be concerned about hospitalization and fatalities,” Tarun Bhatnagar of the ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology told the Reuters news agency.

As it confronts a record outbreak of Omicron infections, Japan has broadened covid-19 limits to many towns and cities, including Tokyo.

Instead of total shutdowns, the country has focused on requiring restaurants and bars to close early and not serve alcohol. It also encouraged people to wear masks and maintain social distance.

In some locations, a major increase in infections has begun to paralyze hospitals, schools, and other sectors.


Because to severe COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, New Zealand’s national cricket team was forced to cancel its tour of Australia before the scheduled opening match. When the tour was first announced, the Black Caps, as they are called, would not have had to isolate when they returned home.

Because of the development of the Omicron variety in Australia, New Zealand’s government has decided to postpone plans to allow quarantine-free travel between the two nations.

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Information Source: Hindustan Times